This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

Read the latest issue online

A faulty production line

GPs operating in an 'unforgiving climate of blame', says GPC leader in defiant speech

GPs are operating in an 'unforgiving climate of blame' through having to deal with pressure from litigation and the CQC while tackling 'unsafe' workloads, GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul will say in a speech to the BMA's annual conference.

Addressing doctors from across specialties at the BMA's Annual Representatives Meeting in Belfast, Dr Chaand Nagpaul will say that 'pressures on general practice have sunk to new depths' since last year's meeting.

He will promise that GPs will fight every day to resurrect their 'proud profession' and highlight the fact that at the LMCs Conference in May, GP leaders gave the Government three months to accept the recommendations in the GPC's Urgent Prescription for General Practice or they would canvass the profession on its willingness to submit undated resignations.

Dr Nagpaul will lament the 'explicit wholesale transfer of care out of hospital' which 'continues unabated'.

He will raise troubling statistics, including:

He will say that all of this combined 'has led to a toxic mix from which existing GPs can’t wait to escape, and which many young doctors will not join'.

Dr Nagpaul will add: 'Far from the being thanked for working against all odds, there’s an unforgiving climate of blame. Litigation against GPs has rocketed, no doubt contributed to by us not being able to work safely. CQC adds further insult by crudely judging practices rather than recognising our impossible context.

'How callous to name and shame practices for not having the capacity to tick boxes when those struggling the most are rightly spending their time attending to patients rather than producing reams of policies to satisfy the clipboards of inspectors.'

And while general practice needs more funding, Dr Nagpaul does not want this to come out of the hospitals' budget.

He will say: 'The elephant in the room is of course money. As a supposed rich nation it’s shameful we spend less of GDP on health than most of the developed world, where we have a fraction of the hospital beds of France and Germany and lag behind most other OECD countries in our doctor and nurse numbers.

'General practice desperately needs more resources, but not by robbing Peter to pay Paul, but from a larger NHS pot that provides the level of care that befits a civilised state.

'This is everyone's fight, from doctors to patients and the public as taxpayers, to challenge politicians who are irresponsibly trying to squeeze a quart into a pint, while savagely slashing NHS funds under self-proclaimed austerity.'

Readers' comments (19)

  • I've just gone over to where the lifeboats are meant to be stowed and it seems the sensible GPs have already taken them all.

    So seeing as we're all going down with the good ship NHS who's coming to the bar to see what's left?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Mr Mephisto

    The Northern Ireland Assembly seems to find plenty of money “down the back of the sofa” to bail out secondary care but give nothing to Primary Care (which is on the point of sinking). One sibling is plied with cash and resources whilst the other is starving and neglected. There are now 50% more hospital consultants than GPs in Northern Ireland (1000 GPs vs 1500 consultants) – that can’t make sense in anyone’s world. One sibling bloated, unfit and on the point of having a major cardiovascular event (stroke or heart attack) whilst the other sibling is rummaging through the garbage trying to find scraps to live off. One sibling is treated with kid gloves like a spoilt brat whilst the other is beaten regularly by politicians and the press. I think some form of re-balancing is needed here. Both siblings need to be treated equitably. In this case I’m all for stopping stuffing Peter and giving Paul something to live on.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Dear All,
    Nice to see Chaand adopting my "toxic" descriptor. The NHS is now a toxic environment for GPs; overworked, over regulated, over criticised and financially penalised for performing better than anticipated against a contract signed off by Government.
    Everywhere in life the slightest criticism is rejected as bullying but not for GPs, the only protection we are offered is the GMC expecting us to become resilient.
    Well done Chaand, keep shouting that message.
    Paul C

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • GPs should never have agreed to a block contract.

    It is easy to cut hospital services and expect primary care to pick this up with no extra resources. Not only that, but also to be judged by the public, media, politicians, CQC and Ombudsman as not performing despite zero resources to do the work.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • It is funny how commissioners trust us with the clinical dump/transfer of care, workload and liability yet seem pathologically unable to trust us with the money unless it is tied to bureaucratic KPIs and targets.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • given that there is no money or funding - what is the solution ?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • This comment has been removed by the moderator.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Mr Mephisto

    The current policy of giving all the money to Secondary Care and giving all the work to Primary Care has obviously failed. Ploughing all your cash into Secondary Care obviously doesn’t work. We need a fundamental re-set of the entire system and we need it now. Hopefully the Northern Ireland Assembly politicians will have the sense to adopt Professor Bengoas recommendations when they are announced next week. If they don’t then our health care system in NI is bankrupt.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Well said Chaand.
    Transferring secondary care to primary care is good. But it should come with funding.
    Patients are given the opportunity to complain directly to NHS complaints when we dont give medication that is costly. When we get these kind of complaints no one to support GPs . In addition to day to day workload we are spending all our lifetime contacting MDU and spending responds to these patients. When we are bombarded with workload without proportionate funding can we sue NHS/England?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • "ice berg on a cliff edge"? Presumably a climate change phenomenon....

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

View results 10 results per page20 results per page

Have your say